A Wetherspoon superfan who has spent more than £20,000 on a mission to visit every UK branch is going on a cruise to Ireland to tick off the remaining nine pubs.
Ever since his partner Una Cooper, 63, bought him a Wetherspoon directory, retired forklift driver Dave Bingham has been inspired to frequent every branch in the UK and Ireland.
So far, the 60-year-old from Burton, Staffordshire, has stepped foot in 866 Wetherspoon venues in the UK, including 14 in one day, and only has The Flying Horse at Gatwick Airport left.
But Mr Bingham will cross borders next week to ensure that Ireland’s nine Wetherspoons are not missed off his list.
They are The Tullow Gate, The Linen Weaver, The Forty Foot, The Great Wood, Keavan’s Port, The Old Borough, The Silver Penny, The South Strand and An Geata Arundel.
Wetherspoon superfan Dave Bingham has spent more than £20,000 on a mission to visit every UK branch
The retired forklift driver is going on a 10-day cruise to Ireland to tick off Ireland’s nine branches
On Sunday May 21, he and Ms Cooper will set off on a 10-day Norwegian Cruise Line excursion around the Emerald Isle which is going to set the couple back £2,176.
Mr Bingham and Ms Cooper will be sailed from the UK to Waterford and then up along the stunning west coast of Ireland.
They will spend two nights in Dublin, where the majority of Ireland’s Wetherspoons can be found.
Although Ms Cooper does not drink and is ‘not really a pub person’, she loves travelling and often jets away with Mr Bingham during his trips.
Speaking to Metro, Mr Bingham said: ‘We will be stopping in all the right places around Ireland so I should get it all done.
‘If not I’m going to book a flight from Gatwick to Ireland as soon as possible, visit the pub at the airport and then go to the final ones. I’ve got the drinks package and my suitcase is packed.’
Last year, the couple went on a British Isles cruise which docked in Belfast.
Ever since his partner Una Cooper, 63, bought him a Wetherspoon directory, Mr Bingham has been inspired to frequent every branch in the UK and Ireland. (file image)
Keavan’s Port (pictured) in Dublin, which is one of nine Irish Wetherspoon branches that Mr Bingham will attempt to go to
The only UK Wetherspoon pub which Mr Bingham has not been to yet is The Flying Horse (pictured) in Gatwick Airport
‘My partner went to the giants causeway, and I went to the three Wetherspoon pubs,’ Mr Bingham told The Sun.
He said: ‘There’s never a dull moment. It’s a great way to see the country.’
They often rely on public transport and have even used a hovercraft to access the Wetherspoon pubs on the Isle of White.
Some of Mr Bingham’s trips to the branches have lasted a matter of minutes and on one occasion, he even booked a flight to Poland – which he did not get on – in order to get through security and access the airport Wetherspoon.
On one of his other excursions, Mr Bingham and his partner spent £69 each on flights from Heathrow to Manchester to tick off the airport pub before getting a train straight back.
Aside from Mr Bingham playing his part in funding Wetherspoon, the Watford-based company said last week that it is forecasting record annual sales after the pub chain had its busiest ever Saturday on the May Day bank holiday weekend.
Wetherspoon said like-for-like sales for the 13-week period ending April 30 rose 9.1 per cent from pre-pandemic levels, and it is now expecting record full-year sales.
Mr Bingham’s love for Wetherspoon is also matched by Neil Wesson – who in November had visited 736 branches across the UK.
When asked about his love for the chain, he said: ‘I’m a railway enthusiast trying all of the different railways around the country and it seems a lot of Wetherspoon fans do both things at once.
‘It’s all about building up your collection and I’ve always liked collecting things.’